The Gwinnett County Police Department is beginning to use non-flashing ‘cruise lights’ when patroling neighborhoods, commercial areas, and retail establishments. (Courtesy Gwinnett County Police Department)
Photo: For the AJC
Photo: For the AJC

Cops: Nearly half of Gwinnett car break-in victims left doors unlocked

Almost half of car break-ins reported to the Gwinnett County Police Department involved an unlocked car door, the department said.

Between September 2018 and February 2019, 48 percent of vehicles reported broken into or entered without authorization had been unlocked at the time of the incident, according to police data. The department released the statistics Wednesday morning.

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The precinct with the most unlocked doors was the south precinct, which includes parts of Nocross, Lilburn and Snellville. South precinct vehicle break-ins involved an unlocked door 65 percent of the time. The north precinct, which includes Buford, Sugar Hill and Hamilton Mill, had the lowest incidence of unlocked doors, 32 percent of cases.

The other precincts had records as follows:

• Central, including parts of Duluth, Berkeley Lake and Suwanee, had unlocked doors reported in 42 percent of cases

• West, including Peachtree Corners and parts of Norcross and Berkeley Lake, had unlocked doors reported in 43 percent of cases

• East, including Lawrenceville, Dacula and Auburn, had unlocked doors reported in 58 percent of cases

Nearly half of vehicle break-ins in Gwinnett County involved unlocked doors, police said.
Photo: Gwinnett County Police Department

The most common items stolen from cars in Gwinnett County include purses, wallets, cash, guns and cell phones, police said. Break-ins occur nearly anywhere, including the parking lots of grocery stores, gyms and parks, as well as in residential neighborhoods.

Police urge residents to lock their cars when they are unattended. Drivers should take valuables with them when leaving the car, take important items with them, or lock them in the trunk. Car windows should also be rolled up when vehicles are unoccupied, the department said.

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